July 3, 2018

Most of the Arguments Against Bike Lanes Are Against Bikes, Which Are Here to Stay

To the Editor:

Critics of the town’s recent bike lane pilot have raised many objections to making the markings permanent. However, most of these are not arguments against bike lanes, but against bikes. They say the street doesn’t have room to accommodate all four lanes, that cars and bikes will have to cross lane lines to get around obstacles. However, the same swerves are also necessary under the current system of “sharrows,” with the added problem that bikes are effectively in the lane of traffic by default. They say that bicyclists have poor etiquette and violate the right of way. Again, to the extent that this is a problem, it is one that already exists in the current system, and would actually be alleviated by clearer markings. 

The underlying worry seems to be that if we install more bike lanes, there will be more bikes! But there are already bikes on our roads, including not only recreational cyclists but also kids who use these routes to get to school and to library study hours, as well as residents who cannot afford to own to cars, not to mention those who choose to ride as part of a more sustainable lifestyle. Like it or not, bikes are here to stay. Let’s move forward with making our roads safer and more welcoming for all.

Jennifer Reinhart

Humbert Street